November 19-25, 2010

By Dr Robert Goldman

Longevity News and Review provides readers with the latest information in breakthroughs pertaining to the extension of the healthy human lifespan. These news summaries are compiled by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M; www.worldhealth.net), a non-profit medical society composed of 22,000 physician and scientist members from 105 nations, united in a mission to advance biomedical technologies to detect, prevent and treat aging related disease and to promote research into methods to retard and optimise the human aging process. Dr Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP, A4M Chairman, and Dr Ronald Klatz, M.D., D.O., A4M President, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distil these headlines and provide their commentary.

Coffee May Protect DNA 
Among the most frequently consumed beverages worldwide, coffee is rich in antioxidants, with one cup providing 350 mg of phenolic compounds. A team of researchers from the University of Vienna, the University of Belgrade and other European institutions enrolled 38 men and women for a controlled intervention trial with a crossover design. Each subject consumed 800 ml of paper-filtered coffee or water daily over five days. The researchers found that coffee reduced the oxidative damage to DNA, as measured by a decreased formation of oxidised purines, by 12.3 percent. No significant changes in levels of antioxidants in the blood, or levels of reactive oxygen species in the blood, were observed. The team concludes that: “Overall, the results indicate that coffee consumption prevents endogenous formation of oxidative DNA-damage in human, this observation may be causally related to beneficial health effects of coffee seen in earlier studies.”

Dr Klatz observes: In reporting that a daily cup of coffee may help to minimize the oxidative damage to DNA, these European researchers further the evidence suggesting a functional health role for this widely consumed beverage.

Independence Predicts Longevity 
The ability of a person to independently perform everyday tasks, such as gripping, walking, rising from a chair and balancing on one leg, may help to predict longevity. Researchers from the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing reviewed 57 studies of physical capability assessments of community-dwelling seniors and identified 28 that assessed these traits in people of any age and recorded subsequent mortality. Although there was some variation between the studies, the team found consistent evidence of associations between all four measures of physical capability and mortality – people who performed less well in these tests had a consistently higher risk of death. From 14 studies (including 53,476 participants) that dealt with grip strength, the death rate among the weakest people was 1.67 times greater than among the strongest people, after taking age, sex and body size into account. From five studies (including 14,692 participants) that dealt with walking speed, the death rate among people who were slowest was 2.87 times greater than among the people who were fastest, after similar adjustments. Five studies (including 28,036 people) that dealt with chair rising showed that the death rate of people who were the slowest was almost twice the rate of people who were fastest at this physical task. Submitting that: “Objective measures of physical capability are predictors of all cause mortality in older community dwelling populations,” the researchers posit that: “Such measures may therefore provide useful tools for identifying older people at higher risk of death.” 

Remarks Dr Goldman: Measures of physical capability, such as grip strength, walking speed, chair rising time and standing balance ability, may predict mortality in older people. This finding reaffirms the essential premise of preserving physical strength and fitness as we age.

Fruits & Veg May Cut Lung Cancer Risk  
Previous research has shown the influence of the quantity of fruits and vegetables on cancer development. H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, from The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, and colleagues have completed a unique study that evaluated the diversity of fruit and vegetable consumption, rather than quantity, in reducing cancer risk. Using data collected in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, the team evaluated 452,187 participants, obtaining information was on 14 commonly eaten fruits and 26 commonly eaten vegetables. Regardless of the amount, the researchers found that risk of lung cancer also decreased when a variety of vegetables were consumed. In addition, the risk of squamous cell carcinoma decreased substantially when a variety of fruits and vegetables were eaten. Positing that fruits and vegetables contain many different bioactive compounds, and that by consuming a daily variety of fruits and vegetable we can ingest a rich mix of these bioactive compounds, the team concludes that: “Independent from quantity of consumption, variety in fruit and vegetable consumption may decrease lung cancer risk.”

Comments Dr Klatz: This analysis of data from study involving over 452,000 subjects shows that dining on a daily variety of fruits and vegetables helps to decrease the risks of lung cancer. Complementing other research that reports specific health benefits of individual foods, this finding suggests a synergistic effect for dietary variety.

Anti-aging medicine is the fastest-growing medical specialty throughout the world and is founded on the application of advanced scientific and medical technologies for the early detection, prevention, treatment and reversal of age-related dysfunction, disorders and diseases. It is a healthcare model promoting innovative science and research to prolong the healthy lifespan in humans. As such, anti-aging medicine is based on solid scientific principles of responsible medical care that are consistent with those applied in other preventive health specialties. The goal of anti-aging medicine is not to merely prolong the total years of an individual’s life, but to ensure that those years are enjoyed in a productive and vital fashion.
Visit the A4M’s World Health Network website, at
www.worldhealth.net, to learn more about the A4M and its educational endeavours and to sign up for your free subscription to the Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.

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